Have you been thinking about selling art online?
With the amount of competition, you will need to take advantage of the marketing tools for building and growing your online art business.
The online art world is booming. Art sales are increasing every year, and more art collectors are searching for new artwork online every day.
There are more selling art online sites and web builders than ever before.
Every day new artists are opening an online store to sell fine art and giclee prints.
There is an abundance of platforms artists can use to sell original art and print on demand sites to sell prints of their artwork.
The problem artists are facing is that there is so much competition online; they are finding it difficult to get their art noticed.
In this art selling guide, you will learn everything you need to know about building a thriving online art business.
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase by clicking on an affiliate link, Nevue Fine Art Marketing may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. Affiliate relationships include, but are not limited to, Bluehost, Tailwind, Skimlinks, SareASale and StudioPress. To learn more visit Affiliate Link Disclosure Policy
Selling Art Like A Pro Best Strategies
As long as you have art to sell, internet service, and the will to learn and work hard, you can be selling more fine art than you could have ever imagined.
Before I go into the best strategies for selling art, I need to be blunt for a moment.
Your artwork must be high-quality if you want to have any chance of selling your art online.
Even though anyone can build an online gallery, the amount of competition is fierce.
There are thousands of artists selling original art online.
Just go to Google and search for “Original Oil Paintings For Sale,” “Contemporary Art For Sale,” or “Original Artwork For Sale” and you will see that there are thousands of results relating to that style of art.
For an example I did a Google search for “Original Oil Paintings For Sale.”
There where 39,900,000 results for that phrase.
Investing in courses online will help you to speed up the learning process and have you earning money from your artistic skills quicker.
The Mindset Of An Entrepreneur
People who succeed in life have a unique mindset.
If you ever have the chance to talk with several different entrepreneurs, you will soon realize they all have one thing in common.
They all have a winning mindset.
People who succeed set goals that have no boundaries. They believe in their dreams and goals. They think that there is a way to accomplish what they set out to achieve.
When other people play it safe and say “I don’t think it can be done”, entrepreneurs say “I can do that.” And they honestly believe it.
Many people do not further themselves because they are afraid of failing.
Entrepreneurs think that when an idea does not work as planned, it is a learning experience, and that situation will only make them stronger.
Every failed attempt is one step closer to their dreams.
Entrepreneurs understand the importance of gathering data. They take into consideration all the existing data and information before making any decisions.
Most important, entrepreneurs never give up until they reach their goals.
I want to share with you some of my favorite quotes by some famous entrepreneurs.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. – Steve Jobs”
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, dream, discover. – Mark Twain”
“I think the entrepreneurial spirit is in all of us. Most of us, though, don’t have the discipline, the intelligence and the persistence to make it work. – Josh Hatcher”
“Risk more than others think is safe. Dream more than others think is practical. – Howard Schultz”
I hope the quotes above motivate you to live your dream life.
Vision And Goals
You cannot achieve anything if you do not have a clear vision of your objectives.
Business goals give you the ability to monitor your art marketing strategies and how much progress the strategies are producing.
Goals provide a roadmap that keeps you from derailing and slowing down the growth of your business.
Write down what you want five years from now, one year from now and six months from now.
Be as specific as you can.
You might want to start selling original art, but your goals have to be more specific.
Do you want to sell:
- Fine art
- Contemporary art
- Wildlife art
- Abstract art
How much money do you want to earn in a year?
How many paintings or drawings will you have to sell to reach that goal?
Do you want to sell giclee prints?
Do you want to sell limited edition or unlimited edition prints?
Write S.M.A.R.T. goals that will help you to achieve your business objectives.
The concept of selling original art online is easy, but the execution is the challenging part.
Know what you are working for so you can develop strategies to get you to the finish line.
- How To Set Business Goals For Artists
- Review Your Art Goals To Increase Sales
- How To Review Your Goals And Sell More Art Next Year
- How To Write Goals You Can Achieve – Workbook
- Artist Goal Planners In Light Blue
Selling Art With A WordPress Website
So, you want to start selling art like the pros?
In that case, you will need to have a professional website.
There is a reason most businesses of all sizes and professional bloggers use WordPress as their CMS platform.
If you have a vision of how you would like to have your artist website look, you will be able to achieve it with WordPress.
With all the themes and plugins available, you can create the online art gallery for your art business.
Visit my Art Marketing Resource Page for a complete list of all the tools I use for my online art business.
To build a WordPress website, visit BlueHost, click WordPress Hosting, choose your plan, and pick a theme that represents your brand.
Visit Art Business / Art Marketing Resource and scroll down to WordPress for articles about managing your WordPress website.
Selling Art Online Sites
There are plenty of options available for you to showcase and sell your art online.
Like I have mentioned earlier, you can quickly build a WordPress website, or you can use a third-party site or website builder to sell your art one.
There is no best solution for everyone.
You will have to review your business goals and decide what will be best for you.
You might be better off owning your WordPress website to showcase your original oil paintings for sale, or you might be better off selling fine art prints on Etsy.
The good news is that there is a solution for every artist selling fine art online.
For a list of the most popular website builders, visit 16 Websites and Website Builders For Selling Art Online.
Pricing Your Art
Now that you have a professional WordPress website or a different platform to showcase your original art for sale, you will want to decide on a pricing strategy before you can develop an art marketing plan.
Many artists find it challenging when it comes time to come up for a selling price for their original art of prints.
The bottom line is that you want to make a profit if you are selling original art.
It costs money for the art supplies you use, and your time invested in creating the art is valuable.
You can save much money by purchasing your art at Blick.com, but the supplies are still an investment.
The last thing you will want is to charge less than the cost of creating your artwork.
For more information on how to price your artwork visit, How To Price Art – Ultimate Art Pricing Guide.
Promoting Original Artwork For Sale
Wikipedia defines promotion as:
“Promotion is a term used in marketing and is one of the market mix elements. It refers to raising customer awareness of a product or brand, generating sales, and creating brand loyalty. It is one of the four basic elements of the marketing mix, which includes the four P’s: price, product, promotion, and place.”
Many artists do not like to market or promote their artwork because they feel uncomfortable talking about themselves and their art.
Or they might not want to come off too pushy.
The only way you will be able to sell your original art is to share it with others. This is done by publishing images on social media like Facebook or Instagram and writing blog posts about the creation of the piece.
Creating art will be an enjoyable part of operating an art business, promoting and marketing may not be as pleasant, but it is essential to land a sale.
How To Promote Original Art Online
Not every marketing tool will produce the same results for everyone.
The tools that you use will be determined by the goals you have documented earlier.
Free Tools For Selling Original Art Online:
These free tools will show you how well your website is performing and provide. The information you gather will help you to fine-tune your marketing strategies.
Email Marketing Tools:
Social Marketing Tools:
These are some of my favorite tools for marketing my art online. You can view more at Favorite Tools For Nevue Fine Art Marketing.
Here are some ways you can start to build brand awareness online and build a following that will buy your original art:
Start An Art Blog
The best tool available for building brand awareness online is a blog and your story.
According to 99firms.com 77% of internet users read blogs regularly, and 55% of marketers say blogging is their top inbound marketing priority.
The more blog posts you publish, the more opportunities you have of people discovering you in the search results.
If you want to start selling art like a pro, you must learn how to blog like a pro.
Yes, blogging is an essential part of selling original art online. However, you have to write about topics your potential buyers are searching for.
You need to write content based on specific keyword search phrases that relate to your artistic style and the message behind your artwork. This helps search engines understand what your site has to offer so they can recommend it accordingly.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a free tool that shows how each post performs and what queries people are using to discover your site.
- Login to your Google Search Console.
- Click Performance.
- Click Queries.
- Click On Clicks, Impressions, CTR, and Position if they are not highlighted.
This will show you how many times your links in Google’s search were clicked on, seen in search, CTR (click-through rate percent), and PageRank from keywords people used in Google’s search.
Potential art buyers searching for original artwork for sale use specific keywords or queries to discover what they are looking for. Google Search Console tells you precisely what phrases they are using.
Optimizing older posts with new keywords that relate to the main topic of a blog post will help you to rank for additional keywords, which means you will be able to reach a broader audience.
People are looking for websites for selling art every day. The only way that they will discover your site in search is if your content relates to the keywords they are typing in Google’s search.
You can easily see in Google Search Console that people use different queries to find the same topic.
For example, here in New England, we say soda or coke, whereas people from the west say pop or cola.
The words have the same meaning, but your page will only rank for the phrases that you have in your post.
It is a good idea to use different variations of the same word to reach more people.
However, it is important not to stuff your post with keywords. Google frowns on this and will penalize your posts and rank them lower.
The purpose of your posts is to educate your readers. Always write for your audience, not Google.
Try to incorporate new queries you discover in your Google Search Console account.
KeySearch is a premium keyword research tool and a full-fledged SEO powerhouse. Keysearch provides all the tools you need to spy on your competitors and track your SEO efforts with in-depth keyword research and keyword difficulty checker.
- Login to KeySearch
- Click Keyword Research
- Type in keywords you want to rank for
- A list of related keywords will appear on the right
Optimize Your Site For SEO
It does not matter how good your content is if no one is reading it.
All the top artists you see in search results have two things in common.
They write a ton of content and they optimized their site for SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
Here are some articles that will help you to optimize your blog for SEO:
- SEO Basics – What Artists Need to Know
- SEO Checklist for Artists
- WordPress SEO: Optimize Your Artist Website for Search Engines
Schedule some time during the week to learn more about SEO so you can start to rank higher in search results.
The artists that do well at selling art online are the ones that are on page one in the search results.
While you are building your online art business, remember one thing, every artist that ranks on the first page started exactly where you are.
They rose to the top because they continued to educate themselves, they developed an art marketing plan, and they sat at the computer are published a ton of content.
Keep in mind that SEO takes time. You will not see instant results. It could take up to 6 weeks before you start to see an increase in organic traffic, but once it starts, you will continue to see growth.
If you want to sell art on your website, you will have to focus on SEO. The sooner you start, the quicker you will start seeing results.
Market On Quora And Medium
Some artists do well with Quora and Medium.
I have tried both and found better results with Quora. Quora is a place where people can ask questions, and other people can provide answers.
Search for questions that relate to your niche and provide helpful answers.
In time, you will start to be noticed by the people who are posting the question as well as the people who are reading the answers.
Medium is a platform that will allow you to post content, just like a blog.
The one problem I have with Medium is I would be writing content for someone else’s platform. I want to spend time writing for a platform I have control of, a platform I own.
If you are just starting out Medium might help you to build brand awareness, but I do recommend building your blog as well.
Connect With Artists On LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a great place to connect with other artists.
There are many artists that would be more than happy to help you. You might even have something you can help them with as well.
Networking with other artists will only help you to strengthen your brand.
There are so many social media platforms to market your art on. The results you will get will depend on your artistic style and where your target audience hanging out.
I recommend you to start with the social media sites you like best. You will already have an idea of how the site operates and are using the platform.
Make a list of all the social media sites you might want to market your art on.
Focus on one or two at a time. Track all the results so you will know which platforms are working for you.
If you see no results from a platform, discard it and try a different one. Continue doing this until you find where your target audience is.
If you need a boost in traffic, you might want to consider using Facebook ads.
Facebook offers a great opportunity for you to reach your collectors. To make the most out of your Facebook ads you will want to know your customers.
By understanding your audience, you will be able to take advantage of Facebook’s metrics like interests, marital status, ages, geographic location, and much more.
You will want to be careful when you are spending money on your art marketing strategy.
Develop a budget for your advertisements and stick to it. You want to make a profit not lose money.
If you are not seeing the results you were hoping for you might want to consider trying different ads or stopping the ads altogether.
Many people think of Pinterest as a social media platform. I think of Pinterest as a search engine.
I have generated a lot of traffic to my site with Pinterest and I recommend using Pinterest for your art blog and art galleries.
Here are some articles that will help you to develop a presence on Pinterest.
- 4 Easy Pinterest Marketing Tips for Artists
- Create a Pinterest Business Account Step by Step
- 6 Easy Pinterest Image Tips That Drive Traffic
- Pinterest Business Tips You Can Start Using Today
- How To Sell Paintings With Tailwind Series
There is no question that videos are becoming more popular online.
Just look at your Facebook newsfeed.
- “YouTube reports mobile video consumption rises 100% every year.
- 90% of users say that seeing a video about a product is helpful in the decision process.
- More video content is uploaded in 30 days than all three major U.S. T.V. networks combined have created in 30 years.”
Read 50 Must-Know Stats About Video Marketing 2016 for more eye-opening statistics about videos.
You might want to consider using videos in your art marketing strategy.
Did you know that YouTube is the second largest search engine underneath Google?
You will increase your chance of being noticed if you optimize your site for Google and make a presence on YouTube.
Build Relationships With your Collectors
Your collectors will be one of your biggest assets for your business.
Take the time to build a relationship with them. Engage with them on social media and encourage them to share their thoughts via email.
Building a relationship with your collectors will help you in two ways.
First, they will help you to build awareness for your art business. They will talk about your art and you as an artist to everyone they know.
Second, you will be able to learn what your collector’s interests are. You will learn where to market your art and what typed of content you should be creating.
Taking the time to build relationships with your audience should be a part of your art marketing plan.
Collaborate With Other Bloggers In Your Niche
Bloggers love to help each other succeed. Take some time to comment on blog posts that relate to your blog. Add value to their post and do not ask for anything in return.
If you consistently add value to bloggers posts, they will take notice. Most bloggers will start to return the favor by commenting on your posts and sharing your content to their audience.
Offer Free Products
Many successful artists offer something for free to build their audience.
Why wouldn’t this strategy work?
Everyone loves free stuff.
You do not have to give an original painting away, but you might find that offering prints or postcards of your artwork is profitable.
Be creative when you are developing an art marketing plan that incorporates giving away something for free.
Local Business Listings
Do you run a local business?
Most people look online for local businesses.
Build Your Email List
There is nothing more valuable for your art business than your email list.
The best time for you to start building your email list is today.
Do not put this off.
People who give you their personal email trust you and are interested in what you offer.
You will be able to increase your art sales by providing your email list with valuable content about your art business and art.
Keep your list updated with any new art you have for sale and any upcoming events you will be involved with.
For information on how to build your email list read:
- 7 Email Services for Artist
- Email List Building Basics – Sell Art Online
- Best Places to Add an Email Opt-in on Your WordPress Blog
- 4 Email Opt-in Plugins for WordPress
- Ultimate Email Marketing Guide
Final Thoughts About Selling Art
Selling art like a pro will take time. It will not happen overnight.
Keep in mind that thare are thousands of search results relating to:
- Selling original art online
- Original artwork for sale
- Contemporary art for sale
- Original oil paintings for sale
- Fine Art For Sale
You must be patient, focused and willing to work hard.
Always remember that all the most successful artists started where you started, not knowing anything.
People who succeed are willing to learn and try new ideas.
If you work towards your goals every day, you will see results.
Follow all of the selling art online strategies outlined in this post, analize the results and tweek your marketing strategy. Soon you will reach your goals.
- Art Description Words – How To Describe Paintings For Artists And Art Lovers
- How To Get Started As An Artist: Building An Art Career
- How Artists Can Help Art Collectors Find Their Work Online
- Featured Artist Amanda Ward
- An Introduction to Art Competitions: Winning Strategies and Tips for Artists
Did you enjoy this article? Don’t forget to sign up for my free weekly newsletter.
You can also join me on:
Learn how to start, grow, and monetize your online art business.
Art Business Planners